Situation on Latvia’s roads faces deterioration

  • 2012-07-25

RIGA - If speed camera installation contract with "Vitronic Baltica un partneri" is terminated, road traffic control on Latvia's roads will become worse, State Police Deputy Chief Guntars Markitans said in an interview on Latvian Radio today.

This means that the State Police will actually stop managing speed control with automatic devices, said Markitans, pointing out that the speed cameras belong to the company, not the police.

Moreover, the State Police currently does not have the resources to monitor traffic on the same scale as before the speed cameras were set up. Therefore the State Police predicts that the situation on Latvia's roads will deteriorate.

Markitans explained that the State Police has carried out various reorganizations and reforms, as a result, those Highway Police officers who previously ensured traffic control have now been assigned other duties - patrolling or responding to residents' calls.

He confirmed that it is not set in stone yet that the contract will be terminated. According to the contract, the company has 20 days to provide its explanations. Afterwards, the State Police will have ten days to assess these explanations and make the final decision. "If sufficient arguments are provided, we can revoke our decision to terminate the contract," said Markitans.

As reported, the State Police plans to terminate its contract with "Vitronic Baltica un partneri" for the company's failure to meet deadlines in setting up 160 fixed speed cameras.

However, Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis (Reform Party) told LETA yesterday that it is too early to say that speed camera installation contract with "Vitronic Baltica un partneri" will be terminated,

Kozlovskis noted that the company has been given 20 days to provide explanations and suggestions for solving the current situation.

When the company submits its explanations, it will be possible to assess them from a legal point of view and come up with further actions. Kozlovskis admitted that it is clear that the company will not be able to fulfill its contractual obligations during the next few weeks. However, it is necessary to establish whether the company is capable of fulfilling them at all. The minister believes there is no need to fall into pessimism. After receiving the company's explanations, it will be considered whether to extend yesterday's deadline or buy the speed cameras from the company.

The minister emphasized that if the contract is terminated, further action regarding speed camera introduction will be considered by the government. Everybody realizes that these devices are necessary, Kozlovskis explained.